The Department of Transportation’s inspector general has launched an audit into Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s use of private jets.
This comes after a report by Fox News Digital revealed that Buttigieg had utilized at least 18 taxpayer-funded private flights since assuming office in early 2021.
Buttigieg, who advocates for efforts to combat climate change, has faced criticism for his use of private jets, which is viewed as hypocritical by some.
The watchdog group Americans for Public Trust (APT) helped determine Secretary Buttigieg’s excessive use of taxpayer-funded government jets, and APT executive director Caitlin Sutherland stated that the group is pleased to see his air travel is now under investigation.
According to Sutherland, “Everyday Americans have faced unprecedented flight cancelations and disruptions, but Buttigieg has continued to fly private, even on a Coast Guard plane and even when commercial options were readily available.”
Buttigieg, however, defended his use of private jets, saying that he mostly flies on commercial flights in economy class and that the use of government-managed private jets has been approved by the Department’s career ethics officials for exceptional scheduling or security reasons.
This investigation is critical in ensuring that public officials are held accountable for their actions, and that taxpayer money is being used appropriately.
Republicans are calling for Buttigieg to be held accountable for his excessive use of private jets, which they say undermines his credibility on climate change and reduces the public’s trust in their elected officials.